Complex service offerings : a theoretical exposition and empirical investigation
It is generally acknowledged that not all services are alike, still little has been done to distinguish between service offerings of different varieties. While some service offerings are simple and others complex, how they differ is not yet understood. This dissertation addresses what distinguishes complex services from simpler services, why an inquiry into complex services is needed, and how a knowledge of complex services can inform research. In order to address these questions a new organizing framework for categorizing services is developed. This framework helps to make sense of service offering heterogeneity. A description of the service offering types belonging to the framework is presented to illustrate why inquiry into complex services is needed. In order to demonstrate how complex services may be used in empirical research, a model and hypotheses is built to test complex service contexts' potential as a new domain of fruitful research. This study found that customers' perceptions of role ambiguity are potentially negatively impacted by service complexity. This research also demonstrates that customers' perceptions of role ambiguity is affected both by the breadth and depth of participation by service coordinators, a role unique to complex service contexts.
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